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Response to: On the Misfortune of Indentured Servants (Reaction Paper Sample)

Primary Source Exercise From the primary sources below, write an informed, analytical response, using the knowledge and understanding of the colonial period of American history that you have developed thus far this semester. Primary sources – that is, original, contemporaneous sources such as letters, diaries, court proceedings, account books, autobiographies, sermons, and so on – are the fundamental materials that historians use to try to describe and understand the past. Like most human productions they are open to interpretation, which is why doing history – doing it well, in any case – is almost as much an act of the imagination as it is of simply compiling evidence. I strongly recommend that you use the textbook – Nash et al., The American People – to help situate the documents in their historical context. After a brief introduction of the circumstances of the document – its date of publication, who and what the author was (if relevant), location in the colonies (if relevant), and bare outline of what the document is about – your account should discuss how and why it is significant (all these sources are well known to historians of the period), what it says about the evolution of colonial society, the nature of the conflicts within that society, the biases of the author, and any other issues you consider relevant. Your paper should be at least 3 pages – that is, 800-1000 words – in length. Leave one-inch margins on all sides of the paper, and use a standard font size – 10-12 characters per inch. The Primary Source: Gottlieb Mittelberger, “On the Misfortune of Indentured Servants” (1754) http://odur(dot)let(dot)rug(dot)nl/~usa/D/1601-1650/mittelberger/servan.htm The text book - required Reading from: Gary B. Nash, Julie Roy Jeffrey, et al., The American People: Creating a Nation and a Society, Concise 7th ed., vol. I: To 1877 (New York, 2010). source..
Running Head: Response to: On the Misfortune of Indentured Servants Response to: On the Misfortune of Indentured Servants Student`s name Instructor`s name Course title Submission date Response to: On the Misfortune of Indentured Servants The short story On the Misfortune of Indentured Servants (1754) by Gottlieb Mittelberger was written in the years when transport was very important but the means were very wanting. People had learnt about trade and they wanted to make it big in the market. However, the methods that were used to transport goods as well as the people were very crude such that most of the merchants just opted out. "Gottlieb Mittelberger travelled to Pennsylvania from Germany in 1750 on a ship primarily filled with poorer immigrants who would become indentured servants upon arriving in Philadelphia" (Gottlieb Mittelberger's Journey to Pennsylvania (1750) and Return to Germany in the Year 1754, 2011). The author Mittelberger, uses the time that he was writing the paper to show that, although immigrants thought that they were ready for whatever could happen to them, they knew nothing about what they expected. The year is 1754 when slavery was very rampant all over the world. Business people did not care about the welfare of the people who brought profit to them. The merchants wanted to make a fortune out of the frustrated majority. Mittelberger was not a servant because he had the opportunity to work as a schoolmaster before the time he travelled back to Germany in 1754. According to the standards of those times, the author was a learned fellow who was not looking for greener pastures. People are going to America because they want to achieve the American dream. From all the parts of the world, everybody wanted to go to the new land, America. Christopher Columbus stumbled upon America by chance and he sold the idea of a beautiful land to his masters back in Spain. The fact that means of transport via the sea were dependent on the wind patterns made the journey very difficult. The author does acknowledge that it was impossible to predict the time one would take to travel from Europe to Philadelphia. This is true because the time a ship would take to sail from one point to the next depended on the speed...
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